What I like about this story is that it's not just a story about being an early adopter, it's a story about learning. And it's not one of those "you can learn it in ten minutes" stories, it's a story about what it takes to learn something big, complicated, and unfinished. "It turns out that there's a "dark Web" of Thingiverse full of parts people have designed to make their cheap printers not only functional, but behave like the $2,000-plus models. There's an entire economy and community of people, not unlike the popular VR world Second Life, who are devoted entirely to upgrading and modifying printers..."
We again revisit the state of innovation in Canada (international readers can just look away). This is the latest report from the Science, Technology and Innovation Council (STIC), which reports to the federal government. It's not a pretty report. "Canada’s business enterprise expenditures on R&D (BERD) intensity (i.e., BERD as a share of gross domestic product) dropped further between 2006 and 2013, to the point where Canada ranked 26th among international competitors... Canada’s most profound and urgent ST&I challenge lies in increasing the number of firms that embrace and effectively manage innovation as a competitiveness and growth strategy." In a nutshell: Canada's businesses have stopped investing in research and development, and the previous government's strategy of giving established businesses more money has failed. This report has it a bit better: we need to support basic reserach and development, and we need to fund high risk ventures (ie., startups).
Good article explaining why it is nearly impossible today to break into the app market with enough impact to build a sustainable revenue base. Essentially, the market (consisting of the apple and Google app stores) is rigged in favour if the incumbents (and those apps with a special relationship with Apple and Google). Yes, the app market could be reformed - but this would require the cooperation of the platforms, and the platforms have zero incentive to do so. I think (along with the author, and Ben Werdmuller) that if we're looking for innovation, we should look for it in the web space (and for apps that can be loaded and discarded instantly, like web pages).
This looks like an interesting and useful tool. Teammates is "a free online system that facilitates anonymous peer feedback between students working in groups." The one real weakness is that you need a Google account to use it.
I've heard this argument a lot, and here it is again: "All the evidence I know suggests that MOOC learners are typically well-educated, more affluent from the developed world, and male." OK, let's suppose that's true (it might not be). So what? First, MOOCs nonetheless provide more access than previously to people without access to education (mostly for people outside the United States, which is why they don't show up in the US-only statistics cited here). And second, it is true of pretty much all really useful things (like, say, the internet itself) that the first users are well-educated white males. That fact does not make the thing less useful. Consider another example: money. Most of it is in the hands of well-educated white males. But it doesn't follow that it would not be useful (even more useful, actually) in the hands of non-educated, non-white non-males. Image: E-learning Consortium.
The medical profession is taken as the standard-bearer for evidence-based learning theory, and the model here is large-scale trials with control groups and carefully measured interventions. The presumption in medicine (and so to for the corresponding education theorists) is that people are physiologically the same. Sure, there are variations in height, weight, and gender, etc. But where it really matters, at the biological and chemical level, there is no significant difference between people. Except... there is. "Do you reach for Tylenol or Advil? Most people have a preference because they have learned over time that one works better than the other at relieving their pain. This type of variability from person to person is true for nearly every medication." That's why we have doctors who work individually with patients when considering prescriptions and treatments.